Monday, March 27, 2006


Bill Bauer

It is hard to believe we spent a whole week in the Big Apple. Just like last year time just flew by and before we knew it, we were back in Morgantown. On the ride back with Skye, Katy, Matt, Mandy, and myself we spent the durations of the trip "debrieffing" and sharing our experiences with each other and Skye's parents(I am sure this will make you proud Rick). I am looking forward to telling my parents all about the trip. Also, I think God has used the 'trekking' experience to make me more bold and relient on God so I am excited to use these gifts in God's ministry for my life.

Nicole Carline

I did not realize how much the trip to NYC effected me until I went to chuch yesturday. I was a little tired anyway, but as soon as the first person asked me all of the emotions that I experienced this past week hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so overwhelmed that I had to find a solitary place to reflect and thank God for the wonderful experiences in NYC. Afterwords my emotions took so much energy out of me that I was not even able to speak right...actually I am still having trouble today. God has shown me a lot last week. He gave me new friends, strengthened relationships with old ones, helped me be a blessing to someone who at the same time blessed me, and is continually teaching me things everyday. While in NY I had this fear in the church we stayed at (I will not share why), but after a lot of prayer and giving into God's power I am realizing I have nothing to fear. God has covered me with his protection, and the fear I had has been melting away a little at time everyday. I really can not express in words how much this trip meant to me or even other things I have learned. I stumble over words when trying to tell someone about it, but somehow they can sense the impact the trip has done in me. All I can say now is thank you to all who supported us in helping us make a difference in NYC. It was an unexpressionable experience that I know none of us will ever forget.
Maryann Meza

I had such an amazing experience. The sights, the friendships, and thelearning experiences will be etched in my mind for many more years tocome. I learned about compassion, patience, and brotherhood. We aren'tall that different. We must look for Christ in everyone
Ashley Rife

It's so hard to believe that the trip is over. The trip was so amazing....i'm sad it's over. I didn't even know I would be going on the trip until a couple weeks before we left. I know that this trip is exactly what God wanted me to do and i'm so happy that I fianlly heard Him and listened. Having gone last year I already had expectations of the type of work we would be doing, but as always God suprised me. At most of the agencies we worked with I ended up doing different jobs than last year......and of course learned new lessons! This trip taught me that I can be outgoing and reach out to people i've never met before. I'm amazed at how much I grew in just one week! I am so blessed to have had this wonderful experience. I made such awesome new friends and strengthened my old friendships as well. I will never forget the laughter, tears, hugs, prayers, and awesome memories I shared with everyone on the trip and everyone we encountered on our mission to spread God's LOVE !
Michelle Sudhoff

Before I left for this trip to New York City, I just knew I was meant to go. Last year's trip was amazing, and I had a feeling that this would be the same. But I also had a strange feeling that told me that I was supposed to be in New York City over my spring break. I had such a strong sense of urgency to attend. I was excited of course, but I also knew that NYC is where God wanted me to be. If you asked me how I felt about the trip now that I am safe at home, I could tell you that my feet hurt so badly after the first two days, or that I lost a digital camera to the ocean, or that it was rainy the day we saw the Statue of Liberty...but that isn't what I would tell you. Simply put, my feet recovered, the digital camera was a small financial loss but not nearly important, and the Statue still stands for Liberty in any kind of weather; these things can be fixed and put back to normal. What I would say is that I met a man that I will never, ever forget. He has changed my life and it will never change back. I met a homeless man outside of Madison Square Gardens on March 14th. He was sitting on the ground, next to a cane, with a cast on his right arm that stretched from his palm all the way to his shoulder. He was struggling to stand up. It was quite obvious to me and the other two girls I was with that he could not get up on his own. What amazed me was that no one else was even looking his direction. NO ONE was offering to help him up, NO ONE was even side-tracking one step to help this man. I was appalled. So the three of us asked the man if he needed help, and he graciously accepted. It took all three of us to help him up, and once standing, he needed us to remain there until he could prop himself up against a wall. He was dizzy and confused. He said he had been in the hospital for 29 days after a taxi cab had hit him. He must have not been out of the hospital long, because his bracelet was still on his left wrist. We offered him one of our bag lunches. He accepted it, and in his eyes were tears. He tried to brush them away, to keep us from noticing, but they were there. I felt so much compassion for him. All three of us stood and talked to this man for a while. During the conversation, another homeless man sat nearby, and I handed him a bag lunch also. Thankfully, I handed it to him quickly because not even 5 minutes after I gave him food, the NYPD asked him to leave. They didn't ask the man with the cast to leave though. They stood within 10 feet of my group while we talked to the man with the cast. They were hovering. Our group soon had to go, Rick (our fearless leader) had requested we return by 5pm. As we left, we are pretty sure that the NYPD asked that man to move also. Mind you that this man couldn't even stand on his own, let alone walk somewhere. Also recall that March 14th was the day of all the windy weather in NYC. Although I did not learn that man's name, I do know that he's from Georgia, has a fiance of some sort, and has a wonderful heart. He opened my eyes. The rest of that day I could not share any of my feelings with anyone. I just sat silently as we all shared what we had seen that day. My fiance asked me to share, but all I could do was cry. I now am able to share, and have controlled my emotions. Over the next few days I was talking with a girl from my group. She said that when Rick had asked us to describe the homeless people we met by replacing the words "homeless man" with "Jesus", she really realised a lot. We met Jesus on March 14th. People were overlooking Jesus on March 14th. Jesus loved us on March 14th. We helped Jesus on March 14th. I spoke with Jesus. That is why I went to NYC over my spring break."

Friday: March 17, 2006

Our last full day in New York City we visited some of the sites in the city. .We started off the morning at Ground Zero and St. Paul's Church which sits right beside where the World Trade Center used to stand. It was a very somber moment for the group as we remembered the people who lost there lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

We had lunch at the TEN-EYCK TROUGHTON MEMORIAL RESIDENCE which is run by the Salvation Army and serves women and students. Following lunch we met with Tamar Auber of Salvation Army, who graduated from WV Weslyan College and was at the WTC when they were attacked. She shared her experiences andmemories of the day of the attack and the work she did following the attacks at Ground Zero.

Then it was off to Radio City Music Hall where we toured the facility and got updates on the WVU Basketball game. After we finished at Radio City Music Hall we had freetime until it was time to attend our Broadway shows. Some of the group went tot he museums while others shopped around Times Square. For our Broadway shows the group split with one group going to Beauty and the Beast and the rest going to The Producers

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thursday: March 16, 2006

Thursday the group once again split up to do activities. Those members who were on the trip last year stayed back at Hanson Place to finish up the painting and to help out around there while the rest of us returned to the Yorkville Common Pantry. At the pantry we worked on putting meals together for clients to pick up and helped them when they came to pick up their food. Following our work there we stopped in Central Park to have lunch before heading back to Hanson. After returning to Hanson place and taking showers, we were given free time to explore the City. Some people went shopping, others went to Times Square, and some went to the Metropolitan Museum (which was closed so we ended up walking the Brooklyn Bridge). Group three fixed the evening meal while everyone else prepared lunches for the Midnight Runners and Midnight Trekker groups. The Trekkers were groups composed of those members who went on the first Midnight Run and went to random areas to pass out meals to those homeless people they found.

Wednesday: March 15, 2006

In the morning we started by doing some work at Hanson Place while some members policed the areas we used so that they were ready for the programs that took place at Hanson. One of the groups worked tutoring Spanish speaking teenagers and the rest of us worked in the food pantry helping the clients when they came into collect their food. Later in the morning those who were not working in the food pantry left and headed to Yorkville Common Pantry where they prepared meals to be distributed.
Later that afternoon once the Yorkville Common Pantry group returned we left again and went out to see Coney Island and to the ocean. This was team member Skye Doney’s first experience being at the ocean, which it was obvious he thoroughly enjoyed. After walking along the beach, climbing the rocks, and letting the wind whip around us we headed to Nathan’s Hotdogs, where world famous hot dogs were consumed. We then headed back to Hanson Place where Group 2 fixed dinner and the rest started on the “Thank You” project which consisted of painting one of the meeting rooms and stairwell in the church. After dinner we continued to work on the painting and getting ready for the next day before retiring to bed.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Well we all made it back yesterday safe and sound. I would like to apologize for not having updates Wednesday -Friday, we were really busy and did not have the energy required to post at the end of the day. I hope to have summaries of the missing days up soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Reflections: Day 3

Alan Raudenbush
This week has been a very busy week. It has been very taxing physically, mentally and spiritually. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and despite many close encounters with speeding vehicles we are all still alive and well. Everyone is becoming closer regardless of troubles that face us, and I am growing stronger every day.
Blessing. That is really all I have to say about this trip. Okay, we all know that’s not all I’m going to say… so here it goes. My eyes have truly been opened in the 4 days that we have been on the road and in NYC. For some reason a few words keep coming to my mind over and over and over again. Even as I was praying tonight these words kept replaying in my mind: Patience, selfishness, money, God. I know what it is that God is dealing with for my personal life and what these words mean to me in my experience here in New York. I’ve been challenged greatly in each of those things and plenty more. This being my first missions trip and first experience here in NYC I assumed that it was going to be a real experience, but I never thought that it would be this personal. I don’t think I realized any of this until this evening sitting around the table and talking about our personal experiences, but it has truly been a blessing. I cannot wait to see what God has for the rest of this trip, for Me, for my new and old friends, and for this city and country. Hope all is well back in Morgantown or wherever you may be!!!! GOD BLESS!!!! ----Katy Whitehair
This year’s experience has been different and deeper than last year. We are investigating our faith and being challenged with everything we do, in and out of service activities. God has been asking me to look at my motives and to make sure that everything that I do is done unto Him. I think that is very cool because Cindy and I deliberated between a few verses to be the theme printed on our team t-shirts and Matthew 28 ended up being the choice. God is also showing us the meaning of compassion, unconditional love, and selflessness.

Something that has been coming up for the people here is that we feel like hypocrites because of the dichotomy between what we do during service and what we do when we see someone begging on the street. During service, we know that our purpose is to serve the homeless and care for them; however, when we see someone begging on the street, we just keep walking and try to avoid eye contact. One of the things that has been great this year is that we went out in small groups to deliver left-over food to people on the streets. This really helped to hit these thoughts and help us find a balance between our feelings.

OH! One more very important thing…I got engaged yesterday on top of the Empire State Building! SMILES!!!!!!

Mandy Vance

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Only being in New York for 3 days I have realized that this has been the most eventful trip I have ever been on. So much has happened that I can’t type it all or this blog would be forever long.
Last night a small group of us went on a midnight run. We went all over the city and handed food bags, clothing, and other items to the homeless. Most of the people we served were very gracious and had such a great attitude. We did have an interesting encounter with an officer at the Penn Station, but it was a minor run in and was easily fixed. We ended up coming back to the church around 2 am. Needless to say we crashed as soon as we hit our beds.
This morning after our long evening out we woke up at 6:45 am and went to the food bank. There we helped them sort and package 15,000 pounds of food. It was an eye opener to see all the work that had to be done to feed the people of New York…and we only did part of the work. I’m glad we got to help them out, and meet such great people.
Later we were able to go to the Empire State Building. It was timed so that we were at the top of the building just at dusk. The sunset was beautiful, and it shown a light over the banks of New York that gave it a certain glow that was captivating. There was a wonderful proposal in the group, but I will let one of them…or someone about that J
We had a some other fun things go on this evening, but I will refrain to keep this short. All in all it has been a very long 3 days…with 5 more days to go. But this is the best trip I have been on. The friendships that are growing within the group are wonderful, the touring around the city is fun, but being able to help the people that need a lift in life is definitely the best thing of all.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday March 12: DAY ONE

Last night we after settling in we took a trip down to Times Square to take in the glitz that NYC has to offer. Here we are outside Ray's Pizza where we enjoy New York style pizza. After eating we returned home and crashed.

We attended the morning worship service at Hanson UMC. It was Scout Sunday and we were welcomed by the pastorial staff and congregation. Following the church service we headed to Battery Park and over to the Statue of Liberty. After touring the Statue we headed down to Wall St. and posed with the Myrrell Lynch bull and toured the Wall St. area. We then headed back to Hanson Place where we had spaghetti for dinner. We then had our first orientation on Midnight Run and the first group went out to pass out food, clothes and toiletries. Tomorrow we are headed to the BX Warehouse in Spanish Harlem.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Well we finally made it to NYC and Hanson place. Once here our journey invovled an interesting trip on the NY subway system which started with people busted for jumping the gates(due to having trouble getting through with luggage) and jumping from train to train trying to get to Hanson place so far it has been very adventerous.

Yes we are tired but are really looking forward to getting started with our many projects here in NYC.

God Bless


We are sitting here on the train at the Harrisburgh Depot

It has been a long morning and we still have about 5 hrs left till NYC